The Stylish Woman: Post-Mastectomy

Chikara Bati dress. www.chikaradesign.com. $145. 

Chikara Bati dress. www.chikaradesign.com. $145. 

Over Thanksgiving I, like millions of other Americans, had the opportunity to spend time with my extended family. During the visit I discovered that someone in my family recently had a double-mastectomy. This wasn't the first time that someone I know has battled cancer. But, it was the first time since I started styling people for a living. Naturally, this lead to a conversation about what you wear after a mastectomy. It would seem that a woman could employ various strategies to balance out her frame (if she is struggling with symmetry, for instance). And, simplistically, that's true. Try ruffles or asymmetrical tops, for instance.

But, of course there are more challenges. Will she wear a prosthetic and if so how does that affect her clothing? Are there clothes specifically made to accommodate prosthetics? What about lingerie and swimwear? What if she chooses not to wear a prosthetic? Woah. Giving advice on this topic wouldn't be easy. 

So, I set out on a quest for the most stylish clothes made for women who have had mastectomies. Struggling with a disease is challenging enough. Imagine struggling with a disease and not having the joy of retail therapy. 

Chikara Caruso swimsuit. www.chikaradesign.com. $95. 

Chikara Caruso swimsuit. www.chikaradesign.com. $95. 

In addition to the pieces I'm highlighting here, I've added a shop page featuring items designed for post-mastectomy wear that is permanently on the site. And, for anyone who is new to this situation, Nordstrom also has a lovely program designed to help women find the right undergarments. In fact, the tailor can add pockets so that all women have the opportunity to experience even the raciest of bras.

While this post certainly isn't a comprehensive plan for a woman's style evolution post-mastectomy, my hope is that this is an exciting start. 

Chikara Jackie. www.chikaradesign.com. $25.

Chikara Jackie. www.chikaradesign.com. $25.

Chikara Jennifer dress. www.chikaradesign.com. $150.

Chikara Jennifer dress. www.chikaradesign.com. $150.